Wonder Woman 1984: An Indifferent Display of the Prolific Super Heroine

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Wonder Woman 1984 starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, and Pedro Pascal is a behemoth of a movie taking up almost 3 hours of your time and drags for what seems like an eternity. I had very high expectations for this film due to its predecessor, Wonder Woman (2017) that excelled in every department; this did not succeed the first film. The movie took plenty of tropes from 80s films and mashed them all together into a weird wishing movie. Not to say this movie wasn’t entertaining, it very much was, but the plot was hard to follow and led to some strange themes and plot devices. One of these is the main McGuffin, the magic crystal that gives one wish for a price; compare it to the monkey’s paw. This device is used throughout the story and sometimes bends to what the plot needs for it to be. In one scene Cheetah aka. Kristen Wigg’s character receives a second wish from the main antagonist. This is against the entire point of the wishing stone as you can only get one wish and she uses it for no apparent reason to become an animal, of all things you could be, you chose to be a cheetah? In the comics, there was a much more reasonable explanation for her transformation as she becomes possessed by the goddess of the hunt, not wishing to be a cheetah! It was very confusing to me how they implemented this device as well. 

At the climactic final battle, Pedro Pascal’s character (Maxwell Lord) uses his power to give everyone in the world a wish to use. This leads to havoc and chaos ravaging the planet putting it on the brink of a nuclear apocalypse. The only way Wonder Woman can “save” the world from this is to either destroy the stone (kill Maxwell) or make everyone renounce their wish which is borderline impossible. Somehow, Wonder Woman, at the end of the movie, persuades everyone with a heroic speech to renounce their wish, I am in disbelief that this is what happens. Geoff Johns and Patty Jenkins both worked with each other to make this movie happen and I don’t understand how they could have done this. It feels like a group of monkeys were forced to write this movie for a limitless supply of bananas; it’s just strangely nonsensical. All jokes aside, however, these two are amazing storytellers with Geoff Johns publishing some great works in the DC Franchise with Three Jokers and Doomsday Clock, and Patty Jenkins directing the original Wonder Woman movie and her debut hit, Monster (2003). This movie however is just… something else, it’s dumb action fun with no fun. 

Another thing that I notice from this movie is how nothing happens. Wonder Woman has no character development in this story; she goes from a loner who wishes that her dead lover was alive, to a loner who still wants her dead lover back. However, the one thing I did like was Steve Trevor and Diana’s relationship throughout the movie. This film parallels that of its predecessor with Steve Trevor now being the fish out of water instead of Diana, and Chris Pine gives a very believable and humorous performance of someone who jumped 30 years ahead of time seeing an unrecognizable world.  Gal Gadot delivered a stellar performance in this movie unlike many of her others, you actually see her emotions through her portrayal and it’s incredible. 

Synopsis (Spoilers!)

Now I would have a spoilers section for this film but sadly I really don’t know what to spoil, because the movie is very predictable in that sense; So I’ll dumb it down to the most generic summary I can give it. We see the title card as we get sent to Themyscira to watch the Amazonian Olympics or whatever it’s called and Diana, a child mind you, is competing. She competes in the final race and decides to cheat to win as she is competing against women twice her age. This is where we meet the message from the movie that nothing good comes from lies, very Wonder Woman like if you ask me. We then flash forward to, you guessed it, 1984, and Wonder Woman is being a friendly neighborhood super-heroine. She stops some random robbers at a mall and saves the day, yay. We then learn of the magic stone, that I still don’t know the name of, that the thieves were trying to steal. Diana and Kristen Wiig see the artifact and they both wish for different things. Diana wishes for Steve Trevor to come back so they can live happily ever after, spoilers it doesn’t happen, and Barbara aka. Kristen Wiig wishes to be like Diana. They both get their wishes but for a price, Barbara loses her humanity and Diana loses her powers. The next morning Barbara meets Maxwell Lord as he is trying to pursue this mysterious artifact and Diana is just Diana, nothing really happens to her for a good hour of the movie. Barbara and Maxwell get into a little relationship and go to this big party for rich people. Diana also goes and sees Steve Trevor, but he is in another body. 

The only question I have is did they just kill a random civilian to body swap with Steve Trevor who exploded into bits at the end of World War 2? About an hour into the movie we finally see some action as Maxwell steals the artifact and wishes to become the stone itself, like Mustafar from Aladdin. He gains powers to give people’s wishes and then take something from them in return. He uses this like any other human being would by taking over the oil business and becoming the most powerful man alive. Wonder Woman and Steve try to stop him from destroying himself as Barbara is completely pushed out of the plot for a good hour until she finds her purpose to become evil Wonder Woman. Maxwell at the end of the movie uses some weird space satellite to “touch” every person in the world and do super-villain things. Steve tells Diana that she has to renounce her wish for him to come back to regain her powers. She does so in a very somber scene. Barbara teams up with Maxwell and becomes the Cheetah to stall or perhaps defeat Wonder Woman in the final battle, it’s not a good final battle. It reminds me of the final scenes from Black Panther, yes, that bad. Wonder Woman defeats Cheetah and pursues Maxwell. This is where things get very hilarious, very fast. Maxwell starts using the power of the wind to push Wonder Woman back, yes the child of Zeus gets pushed back by some wind. Now Wonder Woman is very sneaky and wraps Maxwell’s foot with her lasso so he can “see the truth”. This is where he sees his son walking around the chaotic state that the world is in. Maxwell realizes very quickly that all that mattered to him was for his son to be proud of him, which is a great plot device if you ask me when used right. He then, I kid you not, renounces his wish, and walks away. He runs away! It reminded me of a high school play where one of the characters has to leave the stage so they just wander off. He just walks away! I started bawling my eyes out. I’m not lying, that was the funniest thing that came out of this movie. Then the movie ends. The post-credit scene was pretty cool though with the original Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter, as Asteria who is some legendary amazonian, which fits her perfectly if you ask me.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

He just walks away! It may seem like I’m trashing this movie which is very true but I actually did enjoy it. There were some hilarious moments in the movie either intentional or unintentional. The biggest problem I had with this film is that it feels like a waste of time. When I think of films I think of purpose, there has to be some sort of inspiration I get from a film, it has to give me that warm feeling where I just escape the world I’m in. This movie did not deliver that task for me, but I can see it doing so for many other individuals. Wonder Woman 1984 is a mediocre delight of a film with hilariously strange and profound scenes and action-packed fights. The movie delivers a good take on the character and satisfies me for what it was trying to accomplish. This movie deserves a 4/10 for being mediocre at best for an almost 3-hour long movie. The movie’s most notorious line practically summarizes its potential: Life is good, but it could be better.


These pictures were used from the movie Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

Here are some other reviews for the movie

Lemire, Christy. “Wonder Woman 1984 Movie Review (2020) | Roger Ebert.” Rogerebert.com, Roger Ebert, 2020, http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/wonder-woman-1984-2020. Accessed 31 Dec. 2020.

Angelica Jade Bastién. “The Empty Spectacle of Wonder Woman 1984.” Vulture, Vulture, 25 Dec. 2020, http://www.vulture.com/article/wonder-woman-1984-review-an-empty-spectacle.html. Accessed 31 Dec. 2020.

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